Thursday, March 12, 2015

Trying to Keep the FamilySearch Family Tree Profiles Updated

As I go one-by-one through my ancestor name list for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series (I'm up to Week 63, and ancestor #70 this week), I try to go back and check each one of my ancestors on the FamilySearch Family Tree to determine if I have added the information I have in my RootsMagic database to the person profiles in the Family Tree, and also determine if FamilySearch has found more records for my ancestors in their Record Hints.

If I do this one ancestor at a time, then I probably can keep up with everything.  I may have to go back in the future and check Record Hints, or add events, sources and notes to the Family Tree when I find something new on other resources.

As an example, here is what I'm doing today on my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who is person KL8K-54D in the Family Tree.  Here is the top of his profile:

From the screen above, I can see that I have:

1)  3 Memories (photos) attached.  I need to review these and see if I have others that would add to the story.

2)  22 sources attached.  Well, yeah!  I should review them to see if everything in RootsMagic is attached in Family Tree.  I will do this in RootsMagic.

3)  15 Record Hints that need to be reviewed and attached in Family Tree.  I need to go through these one at a time, review them, provide a reason, and then attach or ignore them.  When I attach them, they will add a Source to the source list for the person.  I have already brought many of those sources over to Family Tree from RootsMagic, and there will be duplicates (same source, two citations, one mine from RootsMagic the other to FamilySearch).

The process to attach a Record Hint is pretty simple:

*  Click on the Record Hint, and a popup box opens with the blue "Review and Attach" button, a link for "Not a Match" and a link to "View Image."

*  I clicked the "Review and Match" button.  This Record Hint was for the birth of the son of this Frederick W. Seaver and his parents were named on the record.

*  I attached the record to the father (this Frederick), the mother, and the son.

4)  A Life Sketch.  I copied text from my RootsMagic person into the Life Sketch field.  It is limited to 10,000 characters at present.

5)  0 Notes attached.  I have lots of Event Notes in RootsMagic, so I need to copy them into Family Tree using RootsMagic.

*  In RootsMagic, on the "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen, I can add vital information, other information, family information, sources, and notes for the person.  I can also add information to Family Tree, and bring information from Family Tree into RootsMagic if I desire.

*  I clicked on the "Notes" button and see all of the Notes that I can copy into the Family Tree person profile:

*  If I have a Life Sketch already in Family Tree, I don't bring the Person Note into Family Tree.  I do copy my event notes into Family Tree when I have them.

*  It took about five minutes to add 14 Vital and Event notes to Family Tree.  The "Notes" page in RootsMagic now looks like this:

*  Unfortunately, the Notes don't list in the order they are transferred, nor in chronological order.  The result in the Notes section of the Family Tree profile:

*  The Notes in Family Tree appear to be in the order first-in last-listed.  In other words, I added the Marriage note last, and the Birth note first.  In Family Tree, the Marriage note is listed first and the Birth note last.  So users, if they want Notes in chronological order, need to work from the most recent date to the earliest date, making sure to put the marriage in backward chronological order.

*  The problem then is how to add a new Note for an event in the middle of the list.  I think it will not be in chronological order no matter how hard the user tries to do that.

6)  That's just for one person.  Each of my ancestral families has at least one child, and many have more than give children.  Each child needs to go through the same process.

This may be another lifetime job.  I try to work on these profiles several times a week on the theory that if I work on them gradually that they will eventually be fairly complete and accurate.  I call that "Randy's Chunk Theory."  Eventually the "chunks" make the whole profile.

By doing this one person at a time, and doing it for only my ancestors, I hope that I am providing convincing evidence that I have identified vital events and parent-child and spouse-child relationships supported by documents and sources.  I'll leave it to others descended from siblings of my ancestors to add all of the content for the siblings.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Anonymous said...

Very nice job! It's unfortunate that Family Search does not have a process in place where, once an entry in the Family Tree reaches a certain level of completeness (along with sources supporting the information), that future changes to the person require an arbitration process before the change is accepted. One of the greatest concerns people have with using Family Search Family Tree seems to be that once they've got an entry very thoroughly and diligently filled out, as you've done with your ancestor in this example, someone else in short order can come along and carelessly (or mistakenly) wipe out what has been done. Although changes can be restored, it's still a nuisance to have to do, especially if there are a lot of changes that have to be restored.

Anonymous said...

I neglected to add, if such an arbitration process were to be established (and I believe it's been discussed before by Family Search), I think a lot more people would be contributing to Family Search Family Tree.

Unknown said...

Great post about how you are using FamilySearch Tree. It is nice to see such complete representation of your ancestors and is a wonderful model.

I do have a question about your choice to use a custom fact for the census data vs a residence. Any thoughts.

I would welcome further posts about you use of this a genealogical tool. Thanks for sharing.

From a daily reader

Lauri said... works in conjunction with FamilySearch Tree. It helps you clean up the data in your tree. I am finding that once the data is cleaned up it has stayed that way. The problems I see come from old data that then gets merged in with the good data.